Cuban Revolution 1955-1965 Essay Example

  • Category:
    History
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    3
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    1697

Cuban Revolution 1955-1965

Cuba life is dominated by male dominated tradition from the past days until today leaving a little if any space for women in the society. There is little participation of women in political leadership and also have very little impact on national economy. The status of women is drastically reduced and their political as well as economic system has relegated women to second place in the society. Today’s women work for themselves as well as for others to so as to achieve better health, education and legal rights so as to improve their living conditions and those of others. This essay focus on the progress women have made from the past to the current day and whether that progress can be sustained in the future. It is basically the position of women in today’s society. The essay will capture on the most notable gender movements and some historical figures associated with the same movement. The aim is to show the position of women in the current society and efforts that led to these realizations.

When Cuba was colonized the economy was mostly agricultural economy which overburden rural folks and women had to work both inside and outside their homes. When Cuba later urbanized women would then find work in factories and offices and while men completely absorbed themselves into these shift women still remain in the double-shift system. During the Cuba revolution gender equality was one of the agenda especially championed by Fidel Castrol. After revolution this agenda was passed on to the grass root women who have little if any role in the agenda designs1. One of the scholars suggested that the women movement was not women’s own initiative.

Cuba gender equality laws have done little to change the lives of women in the society. In Cuba society women still spend huge chunk of their time in workplace and house chores compared with smaller fraction of time men spend on the same work2. Yes women have been incorporated into their workforce but those women in charge are still overlooked.

Despite all this challenges women have great progress in the Cuban society. Their progress has earned world recognition and in modern days ranking cube is comfortably ranked among the leading nations in the context of position of women in the society. Save the children organization has in the past consistently rank Cuba the leading among the developing countries in terms of the well fare of the mothers and their children. Cuba is also ranked by Britain’s overseas development institute among the top twenty nations that are progress well towards attainment of the millennium development goals. Cuba is also ranked among the top by world economic forum with regard with women participation in politics2.

The role of women today in building Cuba’s future is significant. This will be more so achieved by not curtailing women role both in political and economic structure and design. Cuba has been partnering with NGOS and other foreign countries to enhance the role of the women in the Cuban government. In the current world countries are struggling to free themselves from the problem of lack of development and inequality1. Women empowerment is perceived as very powerful tool of social justice to overcome those conditions. The progress of women in the Cuban society has acted as a lesson to other societies that are finding it difficult to advance in women rights and freedoms. In today’s global world the plight are equally shared and progress made in one society will through rippling effects resonates across other nations. Cuban women have been receiving support from their counterparts in the United States. They offer social, moral as well as economic support to advance the agenda of gender inequality in the Cuban society. For many years many women from all sectors of American life have been working together with Cuban women thanks to the policies reinforced and adopted by the U.S government2. The future of the Cuba gender equality will be decided by both Cuban men and women. In the past Cuban women work not in the fields but rather in their homes as slaves.

In the early 1950s most Cuban above the age of 10 years was illiterate while a stunning figure above 70% were barely educated. Only 2% went through high school education a figure that was worrying. Today more women are becoming educated and there is increased girl child education. Women have become both literally, economically and politically empowered. In those days few percentage of women worked outside their homes and majority worked without pay. Majority of them were domestic workers. As mothers work the daughters were forced out of schools to take care of younger siblings. This series of events let to passing on of poverty from generation to generation with little hope of break-up from this York. Mother passed to daughter and daughter to daughter. There was little hope of breakthrough during those early years of 1950s and only one women served in the government ministry without a mandate.

Cuban leadership then took upon them to promote gender equality in the society. To advance the equality agenda women formed a club that carries out their activities through a series of events that were networked throughout the country3.

However with all this progress the Cuban women still face a number of challenges. Though they can find employment in the workforce they earn very little as compared with men’s earning in the same job category. This acts as one of the modern day’s discrimination against women in the Cuban society. Women after the job will go home to find heavy domestic duty awaiting them. Their husbands have more rest after busy days schedule in the workplace.

The early women progress mainly fought for social justice and not merely feminism, they were fighting for all and not just women according to early advocates of social justice. The women of Cuba fought a good fight against the early dictatorial regimes under President Fulgencio Batista. In the emergence of women as the political companions Cecilia Sanchez was a remarkable figure. She fought alongside rebels against president Batista and later became president castors close aides. She served as a secretary of state. However many women who took part in the fight were later sidelined and their role was not given much attention and treated as insignificant. Castro manifesto focus on the equality in the society, a society free from women discrimination. It was focused on making all people equal.

Federation of Cuban women became very strong in advocating for equality in the Cuban society. From this body a team of women were formed who focus on the development of women policies. FMC became a blessing to Cuban women as it went throughout the country with the help of volunteers to tell women to take their children to school4. It also set up baby care center that take care of young children as mothers went to work, this center cares for this children until they are grown enough to go to elementary school. It also train them on farming skills and it was in a way delivering women from domestic chores as well as delivering others who have went into prostitution.

Today’s women in Cuba have bodies that guarantee them justice both at home and in their workplace. Today Cuban society has become increasingly progressive and today there is voice for victims of gender related violence. It is not only federation of Cuban women and CENESEX that fights for right of women in Cuba but there are also other independent organizations that lack support mainly from the government.

Some of these organizations like the federation of Cuban women have leaders that have lost touch with the real women suffering on the ground. They sometimes advocate for issues that are seen as out of touch with the local population needs. Some women suffer while at the same time the organization are advocating for issues that are not the root cause of women problems4.

Today, women in Cuba are taking places in both professional and skilled work. Roughly women make up 66% of the labor force in Cuba and women make up to 70 % of the professionals in the whole country5. Despite this numbers it is clearly evident that Cuban women are mainly in helping and teaching profession while men are mainly ruling the science sector of the professions. Medicine is argued as a helping sector and women still dominate the sector. To further enumerate on this 80 % of the education workforce is made up of women and also majority are in legal profession5. Men therefore dominate hard science, engineering and other technical fields. Women are also still underrepresented in the top government positions and education sector. It is also argued that Cuba has more women in the national legislation than United States but the truth is that they make only 46 % in a parliament of over 600 legislators. Though men are earning more women have more job security and therefore they don’t easily loose job.

Bibliography

Hernández, Rafael. 2010. «Revolution/Reform and Other Cuban Dilemmas». Socialism and

Democracy. 24 (1): 9-29.

Sweig, Julia. 2002. Inside the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and the urban underground.

Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.06669.

Chomsky, Aviva, Barry Carr, and Pamela María Smorkaloff. 2003. The Cuba reader: history,

culture, politics. Durham: Duke University Press.

Bonachea, Rolando E., and Nelson P. Valdés. 1972. Cuba in revolution. Garden City, N.Y.:

Anchor Books.

Pérez, Louis A. 1988. Cuba: between reform and revolution. New York: Oxford University

Vanden, Harry E., and Gary Prevost. 2009. Politics of Latin America: the power game. New

York: Oxford University Press.

1
Chomsky, Aviva, Barry Carr, and Pamela María Smorkaloff. 2003. The Cuba reader: history,

culture, politics. Durham: Duke University Press.

2
Hernández, Rafael. 2010. «Revolution/Reform and Other Cuban Dilemmas». Socialism and

Democracy. 24 (1): 9-29.

3
Bonachea, Rolando E., and Nelson P. Valdés. 1972. Cuba in revolution. Garden City, N.Y.:

Anchor Books.

4
Vanden, Harry E., and Gary Prevost. 2009. Politics of Latin America: the power game. New

York: Oxford University Press.

5
Bonachea, Rolando E., and Nelson P. Valdés. 1972. Cuba in revolution. Garden City, N.Y.:

Anchor Books.